Interview: Anthony Green (Circa Survive)

lauren stern speaks with Circa Survive’s lead singer about his new solo album …

I first sat down with Anthony Green on February 17, 2011 in the basement of the Rutgers Student Center for an interview for my radio show on the Rutgers University Radio Station 90.3 The Core. I was extremely nervous because I was interviewing one of my favorite artists and someone who through music helped me through a great deal of rough times. I can honestly say that interviewing such a respected, influential musician like Anthony Green was one of the best experiences of my life.

So when I got asked to speak to Anthony again for Pop-Break.com, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to relive the experience. This time around, I spoke with Anthony about his new solo album Beautiful Things, the new Circa Survive album coming out this year, and his upcoming projects and releases.

Photo: Chris Phelps

Pop-Break: It shouldn’t surprise you that I love Beautiful Things, and I noticed a lot of people agree with me. How do you feel about the response of the new album?

Anthony Green: I feel pretty good about it. I haven’t paid that close attention to the response it has been getting, but it’s been fairly positive from the people that I’ve been around. But that’s the furthest it’s been explored.

PB: On the deluxe version of the album, there are bonus tracks with some special guests including Nate from Fun., Chino Moreno from The Deftones, and Ida Maria. What was it like working with these artists?

AG: Most of the tracks we didn’t record in the same room. We did it over the internet through file sharing, so that was a new experience and it was pretty sweet.

PB: I don’t know where I remember this from, whether it was from the last time we talked or whether it was from something I read, but from what I remember, The Deftones were a favorite band of yours. What was it like working with someone whose music you are a fan of?

AG: It was an opportunity that I thought I was never going to have with him, and it was the same with Nate and Ida Maria, too. Being able to do that and getting started on it was really exciting.

PB: What would you say was the biggest challenge in creating Beautiful Things?

AG: My own ability to be patient with myself and be patient with the time in putting it together. There’s a song off the album called “Can’t Have It All At Once,” and it’s about having to put something out there, the drastic need to do something immediately, and me having to take my time. I feel like the biggest challenge for me was just being patient.

PB: You’re on tour promoting Beautiful Things right now with The Dear Hunter. I’ve seen you live solo before, and you’ve always had Good Old War as a back up band, so I was wondering if fans can expect an appearance from them as well?

AG: No, they just stopped playing as my backup band actually. They are going on tour right now to promote their new album which is coming out this March. They have a new single out called “Calling Me Names,” which is pretty good.

PB: I did an interview with Colin [Frangicetto, Green’s Circa Survive bandmate] for the site a few weeks back for his project Psychic Babble, and he had told me that he expects the new Circa Survive album to be out in the middle of next year. Would you say that’s a pretty accurate estimation of the album’s release?

AG: Yeah, I would say that’s pretty fair.

PB: Have you come up with a new name for the new Circa Survive album yet?

AG: No, there’s a bunch of names that we’re kind of kicking around. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

PB: How is the new Circa Survive album different from Blue Sky Noise?

AG: I think the sound as a whole changed drastically. I don’t know how the record is going to shape up yet, but there are songs that are super heavy which is new for us and then there are songs that are really atmospheric and weird, which is also new for us too.

Photo: Chris Phelps

PB: Colin had also told me that there are some tracks on the new Circa Survive record that reference recent political movements and events. I was wondering which political movements or events he was referring to and how they influenced the writing of the album?

AG: The stuff that is happening in the economy right now and the stuff that is happening politically right now. I wouldn’t say that it’s about one thing or another, or that it takes the side of a certain issue, but everything is a reflection of what is going on in our lives.

PB: Meredith and James have been heavily influenced in the writing for your solo project. Will we see some of their influence in the new Circa Survive record?

AG: Like I said, everything I write is a reflection of what’s going on in my life. So, yeah, I can’t really not write about Meredith and James. They are sort of the background to everything. They are the biggest parts of my world.

PB: Before Beautiful Things came out, I saw you do a solo show for the first time in Allentown, Pa., and you played “Seven Years” by Saosin. How did it feel revisiting the song especially in a live setting?

AG: I actually played it a couple of times before that. I play it a bunch of times now, and I feel like I never stopped playing that song. When I first started singing it, it was a difficult song for me to sing and when I try to sing it now it’s the easiest song to sing. I love it. I love hearing the people in the crowd singing it together. There’s a part where the vocals overlap, and I love hearing my voice overlap with the people in the crowd’s.

PB: I picked up a copy of the new Alternative Press magazine with you on the cover recently, and you shared so much of your life with readers. Was it hard for you to relive everything that you’ve been through and some other intimate, private parts of your life? How did it feel to see all of it on paper?

Photo: Chris Phelps

AG: I don’t really follow it that closely, but I try not to develop a personal perception of myself. I think it’s difficult not to share what’s actually going on in my life with people. That’s the way it is for me but it may not be that way for a lot of people. I joined a community of musicians that I can talk to and I feel comfortable exercising my feelings that way. It’s just something I’ve always been used to and now I’m honest about it. It’s a process of being honest with myself and honest with the people in my own life. It’s kind of twisted.

PB: I heard a bunch of different rumors about new projects coming out. I heard you were in talks with Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter about doing a new project. I heard that you are coming out with a new follow up solo album called Young Legs this year. I heard there was some sort of hardcore project in the works. I want to squash all the rumors right now. Are any of these true?

AG: The Casey project is something we’re working on, but I don’t know when it’s coming out. There is going to be a follow up to Beautiful Things called Young Legs. It should come out this year but I can’t speculate when. Circa Survive is definitely coming out with a new album this year. The hardcore project I can’t talk about. It’s something that will happen one day.

PB: What can be expected with your follow up Young Legs?

AG: It’s difficult to say because it’s just songs that we’ve been writing for a while but it’s something a little more electronic and rooted more in exploring the electronic parts of music. It’s going to be really cool and a lot different than Beautiful Things.

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